13 October 2012

Putting Sleepiness in the Air

Filed under: Psychology — ktismatics @ 3:57 pm

An exceptionally perspicacious therapist with whom I have worked for several years once told me that her first analysis, which lasted 3 years, came to grief when her analyst appealed to projective identification to explain the fact that he fell asleep during one of her sessions with him. Shortly before the session, her brother had begged her to commit suicide with him and she was, as she put it, in a state of crisis, blubbering, and not at her most articulate. In the midst of this, she noticed that her analyst seemed to be asleep but figured he might just be looking down at his notes. When his head slumped over to the side and he awoke with a jolt and a loud snore, there was no longer any doubt in her mind that he had dozed off. He tried to act as if nothing had happened and asked her what she was thinking,. “That you’re tired?” she offered, mortified and shocked. He admitted that he was tired but proffered, “You are putting sleepiness in the air.” He explained that she had unconsciously wanted him to abandon her and had thus made it happen.

The fact that this explanation did not at all tally with her own experience of the session and of the analysis did not lead her to break off the analysis immediately — she wondered about her own unconscious intentions and tried to explore them in future sessions. But whenever she brought them up, her analyst changed the subject and seemed unwilling to work through the incident. It was this, combined with some erratic countertransference reactions on his part involving him missing sessions, that led her to leave the analysis and find someone else to work with. Had he simply acknowledged his own tiredness or sleep deprivation, apologized for nodding off, and perhaps even rescheduled the session, none of that probably would have happened. It seems that it was the very existence of a theoretical concept like projective identification in his bag of psychoanalytic tricks that allowed him to deny his responsibility for falling asleep and to attribute the “sleepiness making” to his analysand — more stubbornly than many would have, no doubt, but with the blessing of the likes of Bion who characterized one of his patients as speaking “in a drowsy manner calculated to put the analyst to sleep.”

Such moves on analysts’ parts incline analysands to believe that their doctors are nuttier than they themselves are and would do well to have their heads examined by other doctors who are not such fruitcakes.

– Bruce Fink, Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique, 2007



  1. I notice that the ads are about remedies for snoring. Do they pick up on mentions in the post or is it snorechronicity?


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 13 October 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  2. I wonder about the perspicacity of this person who spent three years in analysis with the Snorer before moving on to a different analyst. Surely there must have been other clues about this guy’s failings before he started dozing off and canceling appointments, then telling her that it was her fault.


    Comment by ktismatics — 13 October 2012 @ 8:17 pm

  3. People stay with damaging gurus and spiritual directors also. It’s as though they were the ‘loco parentis’ that you can’t change. As I was saying I don’t know anything about Lacan but some of the stories that have been related here would not encourage me in the direction of the Lacanian. It may be that like Freud he is another wounded healer with the crazy wisdom of insight into his own condition which he generalises into a grand theory.

    In the end you heal yourself or decide to accept the pain that a neurotic symptom is masking or that as a device is no longer working. Start your own practice I say!


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 14 October 2012 @ 2:09 am

  4. In fairness, Fink eschews all “projective identification” as non-Lacanian malarkey encouraged especially in American psychoanalytic praxis. To wit:

    “Insofar as analysts are inclined to take the analysand’s reactions personally, they often find themselves thinking rather negative thoughts and having rather negative feelings about the analysand. They are often encouraged to believe that they are experiencing ‘projective identification,’ a state of affairs in which the analyst supposedly experiences what the analysand would be experiencing but does not want to experience or feels what the analysand is refusing to feel, that feeling supposedly split off by him… Instead of being encouraged to think they are situating themselves incorrectly vis-a-vis the analysand, analysts are encouraged to think they have become exquisitely sensitive to something of which the analysand is not even aware. We should perhaps be suspicious of the fact that the analyst’s negative reaction to the analysand is thereby magically converted into a virtue, a dialectical reversal of the situation being effected here not for the analysand’s sake but apparently so that the analyst can have a clear conscience. If nothing else, the very fact that the analyst is let off the hook so thoroughly here, her bad temper being transmogrified into divine sensitivity, should put us on our guard. The alchemical transmogrification of something lowly — the dross of the analyst’s confused countertransferential feelings and anger — into something worthy (the alchemist’s gold) may well explain part of the popularity of the concept…

    “The knowledge the analyst supposedly obtains here goes well beyond that provided by a well-developed sense of intuition or some exquisite sensitivity acquired through years of practice. The analyst is postulated here to be in direct contact with the analysand’s mind and passions, as if in a kind of Vulcan mind-meld. Such powers strike me as truly implausible. They are even harder to believe when we consider that, in at least one prominent and widespread way of thinking about projective identification, the analyst does not become in touch with what the analysand is thinking or feeling, but rather with what he is not thinking or feeling!”

    No doubt Fink’s insistence on the danger of empathy in analysis is prompted to a considerable degree by these extreme claims of empathic connection, to the point where The Snorer claims merely to be channeling the analysand’s own boredom.

    “Start your own practice I say!”

    I presume this oracular pronouncement is directed not at me personally but to everyone: “Become your own analyst!” Or is it only those who have resolved themselves to their own symptoms who are fit to practice?


    Comment by ktismatics — 14 October 2012 @ 9:33 am

  5. “It seems that it was the very existence of a theoretical concept like projective identification in his bag of psychoanalytic tricks that allowed him to deny his responsibility for falling asleep”

    Or the existence of theoretical frameworks that allow wholesale invention of theoretical concepts.


    Comment by Asher Kay — 14 October 2012 @ 9:51 am

  6. Right. Projective identification is impossible either to validate or to refute on grounds other than the analyst’s purported insight. If the analysand denies transmitting his own anger or boredom into the analyst, the analyst says “Precisely: my analysand is in denial, repressing his true feelings and thoughts.”


    Comment by ktismatics — 14 October 2012 @ 11:42 am

  7. “The knowledge the analyst supposedly obtains here goes well beyond that provided by a well-developed sense of intuition or some exquisite sensitivity acquired through years of practice. The analyst is postulated here to be in direct contact with the analysand’s mind and passions, as if in a kind of Vulcan mind-meld. Such powers strike me as truly implausible. ”

    I think that is truly impressive and profound. He goes all the way with what is a very ‘worldly-looking’ or perhaps ‘atheism-oriented style’ that is surely, when abused in various ways as it can be, just a contemporary version of magic.

    “It may be that like Freud he is another wounded healer with the crazy wisdom of insight into his own condition which he generalises into a grand theory. ”

    That’s pretty good too!

    “Become your own analyst!” Or is it only those who have resolved themselves to their own symptoms who are fit to practice?

    It’s interesting to hear things like that, though, this ‘Become your own analyst’, isn’t it? because analysands end up with time alone anyway, and do it themselves and for themselves even if only translating from the analyst’s ‘protection’. In other words, just like those who don’t go into analysis, literally everybody is his own analyst, because he has no choice to be, even if it’s not the confidence that the analyst partially has to project to even get patients. It would then have to do with whether psychoanalysis itself were founded on these ‘wounded healers’ (I’d agree with that for the most part, even if some of it’s valuable), because it is obviously not the case with physicians dealing with physical symptoms, as John pointed out some time back with something having to do with ‘outlook’ and ‘positive attitude’ being effective in some kind of mental or psychological symptom, but definitely not always with physical symptoms. I myself recently discovered this, and was merely lucky. Of course, you could apply the same idea as with a neurosis to an ailment, but you will usually be given only the alternative of the corollary to ‘accepting the pain that a neurotic symptom masks’ rather than also the choice to ‘heal yourself’, or indeed you have partly ‘healed yourself’ by going to a physician who knows what the condition is you tried to diagnose yourself and coincided with his correct diagnosis once in a while. But ‘healing yourself’ would imply, if it’s to have much meaning, to ‘heal it by yourself’, i.e. without a doctor. In my case, I would never have been able to do it, even if I think that psychological symptoms are more amenable to staying out of shinks’ offices (and I do stay out of them. This recent experience has been sobering, but while it caused a sense of shock at my own wrong judgment, it did not automatically make me think I wanted to ‘farm out’ my mental messes to one of these frequently unreal sorts of people, and who may be minimally beneficial.) I know there are yogis and various healers who have claimed to heal themselves of any number of physical things, and they may have. It’s a risk you take. I think I’ve probably healed myself of numerous things, but have not been able to heal other things. A cyst on my left shoulder had to be surgically removed in 2004, follow-up care said I needed ‘further surgery, because it will definitely come back’. It didn’t. This time the circumstances were different and since the condition came and went over the years, I thought it was annoying mostly. I admit, though, that I thought it might be ‘something worse’ sometimes, as well. Finally, a symptom of the condition itself may make you go beyond that fear, as it did in this case. Naturally, it brings out all sorts of emotions, but I haven’t yet been convinced that those required anything beyond ‘senses of intuition’ and ‘exquisitely developed sensitivities’, not to mention, since Fink makes that point about the magical ‘mind-meld’, it’s just according to who profits from this particular kind of magician or not. Some seem to like this sort of magician, because progress is perceived not in healing, but rather in just learning about the ‘science’ of psychoanalysis’, in short, some of the analysands with the very severe type of psychoanalyst are definitely looking for a form of masochistic fulfillment. And so the other extreme can be true, too: Some of the ‘New Age healers’ really are just snake oilists, and back when I was young enough to fool with some of them, they would often decry those doctors with ‘degrees’. that was the 80s period of ‘affirmations’, sold here by such as Louise Hay, who is one who claims to have cured herself of cancer. ;I spoke to her on the phone in 1985 once, and she sent me to this guy, and I was through with him after a few weeks too. The relationship with any kind of ‘medical artist’, whether professional or amateur, always has a very portentous quality to it, and their successes or failures for one are keenly felt. I wonder if most aren’t just like me, and don’t care whether the ‘balm’ comes in professional or amateur form, just so it works. It seems that in the world of heavy psychoanalysis, there are many analysands who are not looking for something that works on the problem, so they substitute a knowledge of the ‘science’ itself as the thing that ‘worked’. They become part of a religioij, just like political ideologies are often exactly like religions, or almost exactly. My ex-gf. told everybody she went into ‘deep analysis’ because she was ‘blocked’ from finishing her dissertation, but once in analysis (beginning almost 50 years ago, and the dissertation never yet finished and she pushing 80), it seemed to make the original goal of finishing the paper trivial, and the sessions became an end in themselves. I think this is the objection of many people both within and without this sort of ‘treatment’.


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 14 October 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  8. “the confidence that the analyst partially has to project to even get patients”

    That must be true. Fink writes at some length about the analysand having an image of the analyst as the “subject supposed to know,” the one with the answers and the cure. He’s prepared to acknowledge that this isn’t the case, that ultimately the answers are in the analysand’s unconscious, but he says it’s pointless to try to dissuade the analysand directly; i.e., the analysand must learn over the course of analysis where the answers lie. But I suspect you’re right: the analyst is likely to promote his technique, his results, his customer satisfaction in order to fill his calendar. On the other hand, the analyst could convey a sense of fascination by the potential client, a willingness to be challenged by the client’s uniqueness, an opportunity to help the client in becoming not more normal but more special. I might buy into that sort of flattering approach. And there would be the further allure of going deep and long: if you want symptom relief, by all means see a therapist, but if you aren’t willing to settle for just being “fixed”…


    Comment by ktismatics — 14 October 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  9. “On the other hand, the analyst could convey a sense of fascination by the potential client, a willingness to be challenged by the client’s uniqueness, an opportunity to help the client in becoming not more normal but more special.”

    Yes, I’m pretty familiar with that. That’s precisely what D’s therapist did for her and still does, even though she’s considered a massive failure in her field. Other versions are a girl I knew in the 70s whose therapist encouraged her to be fascinated by her ‘unproductivity’. And the familiar ‘you hate you parents’. Well, yes, but you’re not the one (meaning not you, but a certain stereotyped therapist) to say it or even make me feel it, I found. Much better to find the directly inherited thing I hated in my mother in one of my sisters the other day, and which, in this recent family opening, I have seen was well-brought-out and demonstrated by both of my sisters-in-law (especially the one from DALLAS), who paid no attention to my mother’s near-sacrosanct status in the family and which both my sisters still hole to in a near-Mongoloid way, but my brothers and I don’t. In other words, I have seen both of my sisters imitate my mother’s worst qualities, and I hate all three of them for those, but I don’t want some Freudian or Lacanian in a Madison Avenue office tellking me about it–I’m likely to find that I may well like my sisters and mother at least a good bit more than I do him (and I do, for the most part.) Reminds me of two ‘famous types’, Capote and Streisand, for different reasons. Capote wrote a very good late story about a gorgeous Beekman place dame who started sleeping with her shrink, but ultimately cared less about his therapy and the sex with him than the fact that the therapist had ‘awful hairy ankles’ and her husband didn’t. That’s how shallow it can be. Streisand only because she used to talk about it in interviews a lot, and I always wondered what kind of high–powered LA or New York shrink would have seemed to her worthy of her. Never saw “Prince of Tides” but doesn’t that have her as the shrink. Well, tres typique, of course. So it did temporarily, at least, make her think psychoanalysis was more than just ‘getting fixed’, as opposed to movies and music. I’d often think about why she would bother with any more music.

    Which brings me to “And there would be the further allure of going deep and long: if you want symptom relief, by all means see a therapist, but if you aren’t willing to settle for just being “fixed”…”

    That seems to be built in to the magical quality so many find in it. It would in that case still be a matter of ‘form of pleasure’. Bruce Wagner’s super-Jewish LA novels are very good even if they are vulgar and about vulgarity. I noticed in the film version of his excellent ‘I’m Losing You’, that we see the Salome Jens psychoanalyst, who has become exclusively a ‘celeb shrink’, showing horror in her face when her bimbo starlet client comes to a session to help work out her conflict about where to go on vacation (Wagner gives her the wonderful name ‘Calliope’ in the book, and early on says something about how “I saw Laura Dern being disgorged from Calliope’s office”..an ordinary name was used for the character in the film, which is otherwise also excellent, but the book is better in an ‘LA-pretentious sort of way.’) But again, while being tiresome, the first of those shrinks I saw said ‘If you want to talk about movies the whole time, you can’. The second one covered his ass by saying ‘And he didn’t call you on trying to fill up the sessions with talk of movies?’ So I think what I am saying is some find that a form of pleasurable indulgence beyond ‘symptom relief’, and in fact, all pleasure is something beyond ‘symptom relief’. You’re feelin’ good, and want to feel great. Pleasure will do it, and I just don’t see how you find it talking to some shrink, with all the other avenues that offer enrichment and enjoyment. But some do, and they get an ‘analysand look’, it has a strange gloss to it.

    “going deep and long:”

    :LOL. I like the idea of meeting you, for the first time; in Big D. and both not introducing ourselves but going into the Men’s Room, taking a piss, and saying nothing at all to each other until one says ‘The water is cold’ and the other (doesn’t matter which) says ‘Deep too.’ A very fashionable kind of flash mob, and would definitely be funnier and slightly David Lynchian with others present. If Ann came in camouflaged as a man, that would be fine. It would still have a ‘The Shining’ quality to it, maybe even with a rusty fixture not well-positioned over either’s head–just to make sure we’d really fallen from grace, and were like when Jack talks to ‘Mr. Grady’. I guess I like weird performance art better than analyst’s horrible decor, which is ALWAYS meant to disorient you and make you feel this unwanted ‘inner sanctum’ sensation.

    “and that spells Big P…..oh my oh yes…bit P, little a, double-r eye ess..” Carol Burnett (who is from Texas) did that version–and she didn’t mean Paris, Texas either. She is fucking funny.


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 14 October 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  10. John:
    In Delphic mode, I am working with the ambiguity of ‘practice’ as a medical shingler practice and ‘practice’ as spiritual practice which could be any number of things like meditation, keeping a journal, mantra etc. My experience is that one can put oneself into a calm enough state to accept what is stirred up and not be overwhelmed by it.


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 14 October 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  11. I’m still visiting with my father and his wife, whom he married a few years back both at age 80, in Myrtle Beach where they live. So now I’ve had a bourbon and a gin and dinner is about to be served, and I’ve just had a conversation with his wife about her competitor’s failings. (She ate all the white meat from a chicken I roasted — not a classy dame). The other night my father walked into the dining room announcing to her: “I’m here, I’m here, you lucky woman.” He’s 88 now, bad vision, bad hearing, early stages Alzheimer’s, but still pretty pleased with himself. I love the Big P little a. Dealing with my father reinforces my sense of futility in making anything happen here — I suppose I could fill an hour with the analyst on that topic. But my father’s impairments have recapitulated my sense of the opacity of the other — I’ve rarely known what he’s thinking, and even less so now. This sounds sort of substance-impaired, doesn’t it? Time for diner.


    Comment by ktismatics — 14 October 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  12. “This sounds sort of substance-impaired, doesn’t it?”

    Curious you’d say that, because it sounds anything but. But I’m well aware of some of that kind of atmosphere, and it’s very painful, something that must change immediately from the vulgarity and all of its stubborn refusal to be anything else, to be anything at all bearable even. But the paragraph has a lot of substance just from being written. While you were writing it, I wrote my first pen scribblings in probably some months, and I hadn’t thought even a few days ago I’d be able to any time soon. At this point, I see that bleuging is particularly effortless, and that it is little wonder internet junkiedom is something that began to identify itself as small and shameful almost immediately is still understandable to me, even though many of those who do it don’t even make the effort to do anything else, except go into other versions of the net. Despite the incredible service my sister-in-law did me yesterday and the day before, which rescued me from something my oldest sister, things are pretty rough right now. Just as I was writing that sentence, Jack called having made yet more huge mistakes and not at all concerned that he had done them. He got not one date right last week. It’s gotten so bad that I don’t know whether he does them on purpose or not. One thing Joan Didion did say in one of her interviews about last year’s book and her own various therapies, whether physical or otherwise (I think she finally started seeing a therapist sometime in the late 90s, and probably still does) is very obvious, but still is hitting home to me more and more on a daily basis: “After a certain age, you usually don’t get better”.


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 14 October 2012 @ 7:10 pm

  13. That was a bit of a mess. I meant to say also that for some reason my brother and sister-in-law have been almost demanding and trying to trick my email address out of me, and I don’t like to give it to most close people and don’t use it extensively with anyone but Christian that I have actually met and usually use the phone with instead. I never would give it to her though, and she didn’t mind that much. I think many people are comfortable with letting life become almost purely digital, even though she and my brother really do have a rich family life and many interests as well. I think it has integrated into their more solid lives, whereas my own more tenuous existence views it as intrusive and prying.

    Also a mess was that my real older sister did do something quite unforgivable that had serious results. She even somewhat half-guiltily confessed to it, but her intent had been murderous. This is where I recognized what I have never fully admitted hating about something about my mother that happened when I was a child. The reason I didn’t was that her much younger sister, my ‘half-aunt’ said she understood why a child would see it that way, but essentially defended my mother for having allowed this to be done to me because ‘women weren’t free enough to stop such a thing in those days’. This was bullshit, and now I remember that my sister became hysterical and even meaner after she confessed her guilt the other day, and that my mother had done exactly likewise when I was about 5 years old. It is now clear that she sadistically enjoyed allowing it to happen, and that telling my aunt about it some time about 13 years ago had further concealed the truth of this. I had long wondered why I would sometimes notice the thought “I really didn’t love my mother all that much”, but since I ‘was supposed to’, I tended to quickly hide that from myself. I think I thought it secretly meant I never loved her much, which is not exactly accurate. It was interesting the way the ‘analytical mechanism’ or whatever you’d call it worked itself out: the Dallas sister-in-law was the only one who didn’t come to my spring party, and she rarely will go to my family’s gatherings. But what she offered had been the kind of thing a professional would offer you (as I mentioned about the difference in the physician and the analyst), not just sentimentally-based talk about something important which was all my sister had offered Friday, viz., she defended her own obvious error by becoming hysterical and even meaner. I escaped it, but quite narrowly.


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 14 October 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  14. The dinner was rather a success, as I seemed able to conjure some memories for my father that not half an hour before seemed lost forever. Sadly, at the end of the evening I broke a wine glass, shattering it on the floor, though my father’s wife assured me that “it’s replaceable.” The debacle makes me feel somehow indebted now to her, even though I cut my finger retrieving the shards and even though earlier in the day I salvaged from an abandoned construction project a 2-by-4 for which she has a particular use in mind. This morning I accompanied my father to Mass, where curiously the organ prelude was a particularly doleful thredonic rendering of “Danny Boy,” a tune I’d never heard played in church before.

    No, it wasn’t a mess at all, that first comment. One does at times seem free to write personal quotidiana without recourse on these threads. While I’ve had no thoughts about book-writing since I’ve been here, the visit has some importance to it, and I feel more touched by the connection with my father than I thought was possible any more. Even though it’s uncomfortable and disheartening in many ways, there are moments of lucidity and filiatily that are surprisingly freeing and may remain with me for a long time. Having no siblings and no close contact with my cousins, my father is the sole focus for my familial dramas. He’s fading and increasingly frustrated with his new limitations, but he’s going down swinging, and though that makes it harder for me to intervene I have to give him credit.


    Comment by ktismatics — 14 October 2012 @ 8:47 pm

  15. I run and walk regularly and keep a journal, but neither feels like a “practice” in the sense of cultivating self-awareness or tranquility. Journal-writing has demonstrable psychotherapeutic value, though there seems to be no particular benefit in writing about previously-unexpressed traumas as catharsis or abreaction. I don’t tend to write autobiographically; the journal consists more of ideas, crackpot schemes, possible fictions, etc.


    Comment by ktismatics — 15 October 2012 @ 1:43 am

  16. John:
    On a Zen fragrance index you score zero. Dirk Bogarde (English actor) wrote:
    a professional does his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.

    May your days be long in the land.


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 15 October 2012 @ 4:53 am

  17. Oddly, Dirk Bogarde makes a cameo appearance in two of my novels: surely that wins me a point or two for synchronicity.


    Comment by ktismatics — 15 October 2012 @ 6:22 am

  18. I’ll grant you any number of synchronicity points. It would appear that you are catching the waves of the OmManiPadmeHum of the Naropa folk to whom I am attuned on the akash. Or on the same country station even.


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 15 October 2012 @ 7:32 am

  19. “Dirk Bogarde (English actor) wrote:
    a professional does his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.”

    Exaggerations are useful. I would say, rather, that writing when you don’t feel like it may be the proof of the pudding, but sometimes one’s worst work is written when you feel shittiest.

    I do think Bogarde a was good writer, though, as well as powerful actor. His novel set in Los Angeles ‘West of Sunset’ is one of the best written about the town, and he is the only one besides Didion and Dunne who have emphasized that LA is the most Oriental of Western cities. Dunne used to also say, while living there for many years, that it was ‘the most inaccessible of cities’. I think these are very important points for understanding uniqueness of cities, and although John still thinks and numerous others that ‘only Manhattan has this particular certain quality’–while that’s true about certain quality, my many journeys to Los Angeles have been largely because LA really does have qualities that New York and any European city do not have. Honolulu probably has some similarities on a much smaller scale.

    And they weren’t just talking about LA’s large Asian population, although this specific ‘orientalism’ is very palpable in the film ‘Chinatown’.

    I tend to write as part of a therapeutic matrix myself, but usually as one of many means toward a goal of healing when I’m not feeling well. Although the blogging is different, and comes more automatically as I’ve mentioned, at least for me. Things like that.

    John, do you remember that late-90s TV ad that’s about, I think, some cold remedy or some such Robitussin thing, and by the end the woman is able to sing in her choir without irritation, and they close with the choir singing ‘THE WATER IS WIDE’, which always made the city part of me crack up, even though real country like Loretta Lynn I’m dead serious about. ‘The Water Is Wide’ could be what Anne and Kenzie sing after the braggadoccio Texas mimesis. And I wrote that wrong, of course: Burnett sings, with a perfectly straight face “And that spells PARIS…oh my oh yes…Big P Little A Double R Eye Ess.” She must still work, I’m going to google some Youtubes, her parodies of Doris Day and others were some of the best I’ve ever seen, because she could suggest the person uncannily without doing the usual vocal imitation. Also amazing was ‘as the Stomach Turns’ with Nanette Fabray as a neighboring pill-popper.


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 15 October 2012 @ 11:22 am

  20. I know three Naropa-affiliated neighbors and there may be more, so perhaps I have been enveloped in their force field. There’s a sizable Buddhist contingent in Boulder, attributable in part to the presence of Naropa University and a downtown temple. People of Jewish heritage are disproportionately represented in the local Buddhist population, hence the moniker Bujew.

    The water is wide — lol. After delivering their lines with understated assurance those two long cool Texans just went about their business without saying another word or laughing — very smooth performances.

    Happily my father’s wife does not want me to replace the wine glass I broke last night. Did I secretly want to break it? If so, why? Happily I have no analyst to help me out with the exploration of those questions. I’ll make amends by taking them out to dinner tonight.


    Comment by ktismatics — 15 October 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  21. Smooth is usually better, at least after a certain point it becomes clearly more desirable, and the weird setting apart of money from other ideas, objects refuses to allow the obvious charm of the commercial. Such butchness suggests titles like “The Discreet Charm of the Vulgar Commercial”. I think it was in Lawrence Durrell’s first novel on the Alexandria Quartet, Justine, in which he uses that term. Commercial charm means desirable most of the time, to somebody somewhere and that’s the charm of markets, selling, and getting and spending.

    “People of Jewish heritage are disproportionately represented in the local Buddhist population,”

    Of course, and in LA too, Wagner is always talking about the Bujews of the Industry, although that term is new to me.

    Re-read up there and saw “It’s replaceable” and found that amusing. Yes, you did it on purpose, to break the Irish-Catholic atmosphere a bit with a ‘Robbe-Grillet moment’. He’s always got shattered wine glasses and their shards in his ‘romans’. I’ve always found it amazing the incredible distance between the Irish and the French, it seems one of the most unbridgeable of all, and my family, though Protestant, has similarities and differences with the Irish Catholics I’ve met here. The extraordinary thing about that ‘Stahlbaum Party’ was that it was gone finally, and since then I’ve been doing ‘follow-up engineering’ of some delicacy and a lot of risk. A couple of days ago I read the NYT on DSK’s libertinage and this is the kind of thing French atheists and secularists try to sell to the whole world, with usually failed results except among urbanites. He comes across as unsexy, smelly, and disagreeable, even if he is right that ‘lust is not illegal’, and that’s an important point. I actually think my family disagrees with this, hence all the maneuvering; I was still losing till recently, and I suppose I still could. But I imagine he really does not deserve to be in public office, because he has pushed it too far even for France. Sarkozy was very French even if right-wing, but he didn’t go around like that, even if he felt free to philander some. I would imagine French loathing of DKS is his vulgarity and ugliness. I just saw that his wife is a billionaire, the ‘French Barbara Walters’ of television (athough Walters is not quite that wealthy, I think, just Oprah, worth $5 billion or so. :Loves it, so doesn’t eschew her famed ‘common touch’.

    Yes, Goldie Hawn is a famous Malibu BuJew, and I remember Noel and I talking about her Buddhism somewhat unflatteringly at his apartment in 1999, then he walked me to the subway and said, when she came up again “I am SO SICK of her Jewishness”.


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 16 October 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  22. I’m back in the Dallas Airport returning to Colorado, sporadically watching the Obama-Romney debate. It’s a problem: Obama’s policies are to be preferred, but the state of the union isn’t very good under Obama’s watch so Romney’s spiel sounds like change. I didn’t realize that Romney wants to get rid of the capital gains tax, but now Obama just said that he wants to lower corporate taxes. I didn’t see the first debate, but Obama seems energized and sharp tonight.


    Comment by ktismatics — 16 October 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  23. Ten pm at Dallas Airport and 4 kilted men just entered the terminal through a side door, 3 with bagpipes, one with a snare drum. And now they’re skirling cacophonically at full volume, walking around in quasi-formation like a Monty Python sketch. WTF?


    Comment by ktismatics — 16 October 2012 @ 9:02 pm

  24. Patrick:
    When you don’t feel like it may indicate that the usual easy familiar channel is blocked. Creatively that could mean that the personal cliche is not available to you, the stuff you can do easily and pleasantly. Putting a new face on the work
    is difficult.

    John the Mike Myers clip on you tube ‘there’s a piper down, (doon), I repeat ‘there’s a peeper doon’ including a version of Rod Stewert’s ‘diya thank eem sexay’ on the bagpipes.


    Comment by ombhurbhuva — 17 October 2012 @ 8:52 am

  25. “Creatively that could mean that the personal cliche is not available to you, ”

    Oh raelly?


    Comment by Patrick Mullins — 17 October 2012 @ 1:55 pm

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